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Buildings lean into each other

RESIDENTS of a complex in a southwestern Chinese city are demanding the builder pull down their homes and build new ones after nearby construction caused two buildings to lean towards each other.

The two buildings in the Campus Spring neighborhood in Chengdu City, Sichuan Province were found leaning on July 17 when a resident surnamed Zhang tried to open his window. He found that the neighboring building was leaning on his window sill and jammed the window, China Youth Daily reported today.

The two buildings had at least six centimeters between them before they started touching, according to the report.
Days later, people living in another nearby building in the complex also found the walls in their apartments began to crack.

Cracks as wide as several centimeters were found in apartments, outside the building, and on the paths in the complex. They have now been filled in with concrete by the builder but residents said that was only superficial and won't solve the problem.

Concerned by the leaning and cracking, most of the residents have moved out of the building and sought shelter in relatives' houses. Some who have no place to go and had to stay in their homes even wrote their death notes, the report said.

The residents of the three buildings blamed that an ongoing construction work near their complex caused the buildings to lean.

A report by 11 experts from the Chengdu-based Southwestern Architectural Design Institutes confirmed residents' suspicions but assured them the buildings were "structurally safe" and the leaning was also "in a safety range set by the national standard"

The report said the excavation in the nearby construction site made the buildings tilt. Kang Jingwen, who headed the investigation, said more damage should be avoided by easing the pressure differential on the nearby construction.

The residents said the ideal solution is to tear down the buildings and to rebuild them in the same location, as the responsible constructor only offered to pay for four months' house rents for all the jeopardized residents while the constructor could finish the ground project.

The residents accepted the offer but then demanded reimbursement as they said the buildings had been devalued because of the incident.

But the builder was unwilling to pay for the devaluation as long as the authority said the buildings were safe. They said the residents could carry out a second safety appraisal on the buildings if they still had fears.

Construction safety has been under the spotlight since a building under construction toppled almost intact and killed one person in Shanghai. The investigation also cited pressure differential as the reason of the accident.

And in July, five buildings in a high-end residential complex in Hefei City, capital of east China' Anhui Province, were found to have been built on a 3-meter deep hole filled with garbage and sewage, causing panic among the residents last month.



 

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